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Delhi in queue to ride the heritage bus

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage is ready with its blueprint for the Heritage Tourist Circuit in Delhi, a trail that will link three prominent monuments — the Qutub Minar, the Humayun’s Tomb and the Red Fort.

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is ready with its blueprint for the Heritage Tourist Circuit in Delhi, a trail that will link three prominent monuments — the Qutub Minar, the Humayun’s Tomb and the Red Fort.

INTACH had signed an agreement on this with the Delhi government last month, renewing efforts to get Delhi the status of a World Heritage City.

INTACH Chairman S K Misra told Newsline the final outline will be presented to the government soon for implementation.

Officials also said special buses will run on this route and that there will be a good mix of sightseeing, joy rides and traditional cuisine outlets within the ambit of this circuit.

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Misra said: “We signed an agreement with the Department of Tourism last month and are finalising the details of the circuit.”

He added: “The entire landscape around these three monuments will be redone and several kiosks and restaurants will be set up. There will be small eateries, heritage shops and signages on the route to depict the history of the monuments.”

INTACH has proposed battery-run buses on this three-point route so that the pollution level is controlled. A single ticket will cover the entire route, and the rider can punctuate his journey as in prominent tourist destinations all over the world where this “hop-on, hop-off” rides are popular. He can get off anywhere, catch a bite, even go sightseeing and then continue the ride on another bus, Misra said. There will be guides too.

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INTACH’s convenor of the Delhi Chapter, A G K Menon, said, “We are talking to tour operators. The details are yet to be finalised since this will be a public-private partnership.”

Capital’s own ‘Golden Triangle’
* Minister of Culture and Tourism Ambika Soni on Tuesday announced several plans for heritage conservation at the Asian Regional Cooperation Conference organised by INTACH. The government has decided to set up a Special Commission which will take steps to ensure safety of these structures.

“The government will bring a legislation for setting up National Commission for heritage sites,” said Soni.
* The government has already launched a National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities at a cost of Rs 90 crore. The funds under the programme will be increased from Rs 400 crore to Rs 500 crore to cover the entire country, she said.
* Public awareness and educating people will help protect heritage sites. The Culture Ministry is in the process of launching a Cultural Heritage Young Leadership Programme with an objective to reach schools, colleges and universities and inculcate a deeper understanding about the cultural heritage among the younger generation
* The country needs capacity building for management of heritage and cultural resources. The ministry is proposing to set up a Centre for Management of Cultural Resources.
* The centre will impart special training to personnel for better protection of heritage sites. Besides, there are proposals to set up a network of Indian Institute of Art and Culture on the lines of IIMs and IITs.
* Stress on public-private partnership (PPP) model for preserving the heritage sites. Asian countries share close historical, cultural and economic links. India is making all efforts to expand, strengthen and deepen these links through its ‘Look East’ policy.
— ENS

First published on: 03-12-2008 at 12:44:38 am
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